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Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of;
but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Cor. vii. 10.
There is a sorrow that is called Godly, because it is produced in us
by the Spirit of God discovering the evil of sin, and the plague and corruption of our own hearts, and deeply humbling us under a sense of sin, producing evangelical repentance, and leading the soul to cry to the Lord Jesus Christ for pardon and salvation, -- the Holy Spirit at the same time enabling us to believe in Him, and rest upon his person, blood, and righteousness for redemption and salvation;—which repentance will never be repented of; but sorrow arising from the love of this world, worketh death, death eternal ! Lord Jesus, grant me to feel more of this godly sorrow for sin, and to rejoice more in thee as my Saviour !
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
Ps. xcvii. 11. Unto the upright ihere ariseth light in darkness; he is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous. Ps. cxii. 4. Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which has great recompence of reward; for ye have need of patience, &c. for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Heb. x. 35, 37 ; Isaiah lviii. 10–12.
This shows that believers are subject to many changes of joy and sor
row. In a state of gladness, therefore, we have reason to fear ; and in the hours of trouble and sadness to entertain good hopes. Thus we shall always be able to keep the happy medium between the extremes of levity and despair. “Before a man has a true sense of his own miseries, the complaints and infirmities of the saints are often a stumbling-block; but afterwards they will administer to him great comfort. This is the reason that God has revealed them in Scripture ; for the complaints of his elect children give more comfort than all their most heroic actions.
Alas' it swells my sorrows high,
Yet why, my soul, why these complaints ? Still while he frowns his bowels move; | Still on his heart he bears his saints, | And feels their sorrows and his love.
I find a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom. vii. 21.
O my soul! thou art always striving, yet sin is always stirring : thou
v fearest the truth of grace, because thou findest the working of sin ; but it will be always thus ; thou canst not come out of Egypt, but Amalek will lay wait in the way; the flesh will be sure to trouble thee, although it be never able to conquer thee: He therefore that sits down, and is at rest in sin, it is a sign that Satan is there, the strong man, because his kingdom is in peace; but where there is any work of Christ, there will be always war with sin: Sin was the womb of Death, and only death must be the tomb of Sin. God would have my soul humbled, -- therefore, though he hath broken my prison, yet he hath left the chain upon my feet; God would have my graces exercised, therefore, though he hath translated me into the kingdom of Life, yet he hath left the Canaanite in the land ; God would have my faith exer, cised, - therefore, Goliah still shows himself in the field, that so I might go out to him" in the name of the Lord.” I will betake me to the strength of Christ; and though I cannot help the rebelling power of sin, yet, through grace, I will labour to prevent the ruling power of it,
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them; for he has made Him to be sin for as, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. v. 19, 21.
TT highly concerns believers, who desire to keep a constant peace in f their bosoms, to be ever sensible of their spiritual poverty, and to *eed and rest wholly on the all-sufficient atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Disquiet of mind, and laziness of soul, -often proceed from self-righteousness, and not looking to Christ for every thing, but trusting secretly to something in ourselves.
Jesu, thou art my righteousness,
For all my sins were thine;
Thy life has made him mine!
Close to thy bleeding side !
1 'Tis all my hope, and all my plea;
For me the Saviour dy'd!
And cleanse, and keep me clean,
Nevcrtheless, I am continually with thee. Thou hast holden me by my
right hanı. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory. Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart fuileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Ps. lxxiii. 23–26. Ps. xvi. 18.
Babes in religion not only long for Christ, but for sensible communion
with him; and very often they are indulged with it, that they may be weaned from the world. But those of fuller age, who have their senses more exercised, are thankful they can trust Him when they do not see Him, and can follow Him when they feel no comfort ; relying more on the word and covenant of God than on sweet sensations, which, though ever precious and desirable, are oft withdrawn in times of trouble and temptation.
How oft have Sin and Satan strove
To rend my soul from thee, my God! But everlasting is thy love,
And Jesus seals it with his blood. Amidst temptations sharp and strong,
My soul to this dear refuge fies;
Hope is my anchor, firm and strong,
While tempests blow and billows rise.
Lays the foundation of my hope